A dramatic U-turn by the Swedish government could see the planned CSGO Major in Stockholm go ahead after all following reports in fragbite.se that new proposals have been submitted which would allow esports athletes to enter the country to compete. The news comes on the back of months of uncertainty and the cancellation of Dota 2’s The International tournament, which had been slated to take place in the same location.
The move will no doubt bring joy to the Swedish CSGO and esports scene and has been welcomed by sports bodies in Sweden too. Sammi Kaidi, Chair of the Swedish Sports Confederation, is quoted in the article as saying this is "proof of what joint efforts, goal-oriented work and a solution-oriented focus from Swedish e-sports can achieve, which feels fantastic and bodes well for the organization of e-sports in Sweden".
Kaidi is also quoted as saying that "the organizer's main requirement was to get guarantees for the entry of players and staff to this autumn's CS: GO Major. The government has now complied with this through our lobbying work in a short time. We see no other obstacles than that the organizer completes the plan with a CS: GO Major in Stockholm this autumn."
Too late for Dota's TI10
PGL Esports, the group set to run the Major for Valve, had stated on July 20 that they were in discussions with the authorities, with no decision yet on a possible move to Bucharest for the Valve-sanctioned event. Presumably, this news is a direct result of those discussions, and lobbying from within the Swedish esports scene, and PGL can now go ahead with the planning for the event initially meant to be held in Stockholm’s Avicii Arena
It is unclear as to why this move was made for CSGO, but not the Dota 2 event, with officials claiming they want to encourage other tournament organizers to host events in their neck of the woods. Minister of the Interior Mikael Damberg is quoted in fragbite as saying, "This exception is important for us to be able to increase the opportunities to conduct international elite competitions in e-sports in Sweden", which would logically also include the aforementioned Dota event.
Swedish org NIP was ecstatic when the news broke, after having publicly offered to sit down with those involved in the decision-making and make a personal plea based on the country’s long history in CSGO. Fnatic and NIP dominated the early years of the shooter, with the former winning three Majors out of the first six, and the latter creating the famous 87-0 run that remains the stuff of legends to this day.